Confessions from the Classroom
7. “I Will Whip My Hair” and “Hold My Bow”: Gender Creativity in Rural Ontario
· 7 · “i will whip my hair” and “hold my bow” Gender Creativity in Rural Ontario It is time to hear from the gender creative students of rural Ontario, those most affected by narrow thinking about gendered possibilities. Gender creative youth live in rural spaces, inhospitable or otherwise. They are experts in the cultural norms of their towns and in the potential consequences of gender transgressions. I will place their insights in conversation with the popular novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, because as I read the narrative, I found the knowl- edge closely aligned with the voices of the participants in my study. Brought together, I believe they offer parents, educators, and community members tools for supporting rural gender creative youth. In particular, I will (1) provide crit- ical understandings of the complexity of rural gender creativity, (2) suggest the importance of the use of The Hunger Games as a source of recognition and empowerment of rural gender creativity, and (3) advocate for a curriculum where youth are encouraged to speak, write, and create; they can’t depend on distorted rural representation, and they need to put their own lives on the map. Language and Identity In my interactions with students during this research, I found that terminology defining gender or sexuality could not be assumed. On only three occasions 104 tomboys and other gender heroes did students self-identify with the term bisexual, but this was the extent of any formal affiliation with the queer alphabet (LGBTTQI2S). One of these...
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